On January 20, everything will be illegalJanuary 9, 2009
Planning to go to Washington for the inauguration parade? Might as well just handcuff yourself and put yourself in jail, because security measures for the event are going to be the tightest ever for an inauguration. Among the prohibited items on the parade route: chairs, coolers, backpacks, umbrellas, strollers and aerosol cans (which means no Silly String or hairspray). Restrictions are being placed on posters, and the police presence will be in the thousands.
Still want to check it out? We’ve put together a map showing the parade route, along with some of the security checkpoints and hotspots. Memorize it, and leave the umbrellas at home.
1. No pepper spray. Also, no pepper. Also, no Dr. Pepper. Also, no doctors allowed. We don’t need some fancy M.D. giving out unwanted diagnoses that might panic a crowd.
2. Satellite-jamming tower will block parade viewers from sending cell phone pictures of the event to their friends.
3. Because bicycles are prohibited from the parade route, a police cordon will be established around Chinatown to prevent restaurants from dispatching any delivery guys.
4. Pennsylvania residents will be barred from the parade route for fear that unbridled state pride regarding the name of the avenue will cause Pennsylvanians to riot.
5. Undercover Navy Seals dressed as civilians will infiltrate the crowd and subdue anyone who appears “fidgety.” Obviously, that is because they are nervous about their assassination attempt, and not because it’s 10 degrees out and there are no bathrooms.
6. Snipers perched on Superior Court building ordered to shoot and kill anyone holding a can of Silly String. WHO’S SILLY NOW, BUCKO?
7. All observers will be issued canaries as an early warning system in the event of toxic gas in the area.
8. Inauguration ceremony itself will occur in windowless, reinforced-steel room, without video cameras or other recording devices. President-elect will take oath from inside sealed, sterilized chamber surrounded by rottweilers.